The DasGupta report on the economics of biodiversity which was commissioned by HM Treasury in March 2019 is finally out today.  

The Dasgupta Review, an independent, global review on the Economics of Biodiversity led by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta (Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus, University of Cambridge), was established in order to:

  • assess the economic benefits of biodiversity globally
  • assess the economic costs and risks of biodiversity loss
  • identify a range of actions that can simultaneously enhance biodiversity and deliver economic prosperity

The report is over 600 pages long so it will take some time to digest but the message is clear just from David Attenborough's foreword:

We are destroying biodiversity, the very characteristic that until recently enabled the natural world to flourish so abundantly. If we continue this damage, whole ecosystems will collapse. That is now a real risk.

Putting things right will take collaborative action by every nation on earth. It will require international agreements to change our ways. Each ecosystem has its own vulnerabilities and requires its own solutions. There has to be a universally shared understanding of how these systems work, and how those that have been damaged can be brought back to health.

This comprehensive, detailed and immensely important report is grounded in that understanding. It explains how we have come to create these problems and the actions we must take to solve them. It then provides a map for navigating a path towards the restoration of our planet’s biodiversity.  Economics is a discipline that shapes decisions of the utmost consequence, and so matters to us all. 

The Dasgupta Review at last puts biodiversity at its core and provides the compass that we urgently need. In doing so, it shows us how, by bringing economics and ecology together, we can help save the natural world at what may be the last minute – and in doing so, save ourselves.

Law is also a discipline that shapes decisions and once the legal profession has  digested the report we too should be focusing on how we can use our innovative, problem-solving skills to help.  

Happy reading....